How to pick a healthy salad dressing & healthy salad dressing nutrition.
Bottled salad dressings can be (nearly) as healthy as homemade—or they can drown your salad in added sugars, fake flavor and color enhancers. Don’t be swayed by a healthy-sounding name or pretty bottle—it doesn’t always reflect what’s inside.
We scrutinized more than 40 bottles of supermarket salad dressings to see if they met our nutrition criteria. Only these 8 made the cut; the others were eliminated for containing too much sodium, sugar and/or undesirable ingredients, such as synthetic colorings. Note, we didn't taste these—just vetted their ingredients.
Here’s how to find a healthy dressing:
Ingredients to Look For:
- Extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
- Short ingredient list
Watch Out For:
- Sodium. Pick one with <300 mg sodium per 2-tablespoon serving.
- Sugar (especially in fruit-flavored dressings). Choose one that has either no sugar, HFCS, REB A (stevia) in the ingredients list or a sweetener that appears near the bottom of the list. Aim to keep total sugars at <3 g per 2-tablespoon serving.
- Synthetic food colors, such as Yellow 5 & 6, and also caramel color, in the news recently as a potential carcinogen.
8 Better Vinaigrettes to Pick:
1. Annie’s Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette
2. Kraft Zesty Italian
3. Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
4. Lily’s Balsamic Vinaigrette
5. Drew’s Classic Italian
6. Newman’s Own Lite Italian
7. Wish-Bone Light Italian
8. Ken’s Light Options Olive Oil & Vinegar
Homemade Salad Dressings to Try: